Christian group demands Cuba release pastor jailed for protesting regime
A Christian group that works to protect religious freedom worldwide has started a campaign calling on the communist government of Cuba to release a Protestant pastor who has been in jail without trial for participating in the peaceful protests that emerged across the country in July.
State Security officers arrested Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo on July 11 during peaceful protests in Palma Soriano. Later, they transferred him to the Boniato Maximum Security Prison outside the city of Santiago de Cuba last month, the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide said in a statement announcing its campaign.
Rosales Fajardo, a pastor for 20 years who leads the Monte de Sion church, faces charges including “disrespect” and “public disorder,” punishable with an imprisonment between three and 20 years.
Prison authorities haven’t allowed even his wife, Maridilegnis Carballo, to visit him. He can speak to his family only on a few three-minute phone calls.
Authorities have warned Carballo that their 17-year-old son, who was arrested with his father but later released, will face repercussions if she continues to speak out about her husband’s plight. “She has also been threatened with imprisonment herself for speaking to international human rights organizations about her husband’s unjust detention,” the group points out.